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Chapter 20: The Elmer Ray & Cora Maude Todd House, 102 East Third Street, 1912-1948

By Gail J. McCormick for The Molalla Pioneer

PHOTO FROM THE AUTHOR'S COLLECTION - The Elmer Ray & Cora Maude Todd House is located at 102 East Third Street in Molalla.  The 107 year-old home, built in the Craftsman Bungalow Style, is in excellent condition and is privately owned.

The Elmer Ray and Cora Maude Todd House is located at 102 East Third Street in Molalla, Oregon. The overall architecture is the popular Craftsman Bungalow Style. The 107 year-old house still has the original Arts and Crafts Style front door. The Arts and Crafts Movement pre-dated the Craftsman style by 80 years. It has medieval undertones and was developed to elevate the decorative arts to the level of fine art. The house has a recessed entry supported by cast stone columns and it still has the original narrow bevel siding with shingles on the gable peaks. The house was built in 1912, and is in excellent condition today. It is privately owned.

On March 7, 1913, the Molalla Pioneer announced the Todd family's move into their new home: "Dr. E. R. Todd has moved into his beautiful residence on the corner of South Molalla Avenue and East Third Street. This bungalow adds greatly to the appearance of the town and is a delightful home."

Elmer Ray Todd

Elmer Ray Todd was born, of pioneer parents, in 1880, at Marquam, Oregon. His father was James R. Todd, who was born in 1851, at Tennessee. His mother was Rachel Leabo Todd, who was born in 1858, at Nebraska. In 1905, Elmer married Cora Maude Moore at Salem, Oregon. Cora was born in 1880, at Stayton, Oregon. Her parents were Joseph G. Moore and Barbara Hartman Moore. Joseph G. Moore was born around 1854, at Indiana. Barbara Hartman was born in 1856, at Silverton, Oregon. Elmer and Cora had one son, Robert Brady Todd.

Both sets of Elmer Todd's grandparents were early Oregon pioneers. His paternal grandfather, John Todd, was born in 1815, at Scotland. He was a painter who immigrated to the United States about 1847. John Todd's wife, Esther, was born in 1817, at England. Elmer Todd's maternal grandfather was Josiah Joseph Leabo who was born in 1830, at Indiana. Josiah's wife, Nancy, was born in 1832, at Missouri. The Leabos were farmers. Both families eventually settled in the Marquam area in the 1850s and 1860s.

Dr. Todd

COURTESY PHOTO: MOLALLA AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY - This photo from the July 15, 1948, Molalla Pioneer was titled 'From 1910 to 1949 - Ford Style'.  Dr. E. R. Todd is at the wheel of the latest model Ford roadster, said to be the first one sold in Clackamas County in 1910.Dr. Todd was called "a horse and buggy doctor". He served the Molalla community from 1911 until 1948, when he passed away. He maintained offices in the I. O. O. F. Lodge in Molalla with a partner, Dr. Frank E. Hume. At Dr. Todd's home, the parlor doubled as a home office and surgery room. Over the years, the doctors mended many broken bones and stitched up many cuts. They made many trips to the nearest hospital at Oregon City. Dr. Todd was the one that was called when the body of Indian Henry was found murdered after the 1913 Celebration in Molalla. Dr. Todd was very well liked and, at the time of his death, was Mayor-Elect. He had graduated from Willamette University Medical School in 1904. He started his practice in Eastern Oregon shortly thereafter

Molalla Band

In addition to the doctoring, Dr. Todd was very active in the community. He played the saxaphone in the popular Molalla Brass Band. The Molalla Brass Band was started very early on, possibly around 1880. At one time, there was a huge band hall in downtown Molalla. The late Charles Hardy describes the band for us in his diary: "Molalla had a brass band in an early day. They played at the Fourth of July picnics and public gatherings. They used a four-horse team to take them places usually driven by Joe Harless and helper. They had a wagon with a long box on it built in much the same shape as a half moon and somwhat high on both ends and low in the middle, big enough for all the band and drivers to ride in. The band consisted of about ten (to 22) men. It was a pretty sight when they were all loaded and four nice horses to pull them. Their brass horns shone up real nice along with their big drum and with the horses decorated with flags on Fourth of July occasions." In 1923, the director was John S. Dungan. The musicians were Fred Bruce, Herman Chindgren, Eskil Renhard, Don Bauer, Burrel Cole, Jack Cole, Oscar Franklin, Willis Dunton, Earl Nauertz, Ed Eynam, Alvin Perdue, George Blatchford, Charles Kent, Dr. E. R. Todd, Walter Taylor, Ben Chindgren, Bill Mackrell, I. F. Bradley, Les Little, Paul Robbins, Harry Harvey, and Rosco "Rocky" Hibbard.

COURTESY PHOTO: MOLALLA AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY - The Molalla Brass Band in 1923.  First row left:  Fred Bruce, Herman Chindgren, Eskil Renhard, Don Bauer, Burrel Cole, Jack Cole, Oscar Franklin, Willis Dunton, Earl Nauertz, Ed Eyman and Alvin Perdue; Second row left:  George Blatchford, Charles Kent, Dr. E. R. Todd, Walter Taylor, Ben Chindgren, Bill Mackrell, I. F. Bradley, Les Little, Paul Robbins, Harry Harvey, and Rosco 'Rocky' Hibbard.

Dr. Todd was a charter member of the I. O. O. F. Lodge, organized in 1909. He was also a director of the Molalla Buckeroo Association. He served eight years as a Molalla councilman and, before that, was Mayor from 1936 to 1940. He died at an Oregon City Hospital, in 1948. Cora Todd died in 1973, at Molalla.

About the Author

Gail J. McCormick has lived in Mulino for 32 years. She is an award-winning author for her book "Our Proud Past". The book features stories of Oregon Trail pioneers who settled in South Clackamas County. Ms. McCormick was the recipient of First Award in the Oregon Press Women's Communication Contest for Non-Fiction History Books published in 1992. The book was also deemed "Recommended Reading" by Powell's Book Store of Portland, Oregon. It is available at Cutter's Pharmacy, the Marquam Store, the Meadowbrook Store, the Mill Barn Espresso, Shortcake's Consignment, Union Mill's Feed and the Molalla Area Historical Society. If you have photos or information to share, please contact the author at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-632-3640. Your help is appreciated.


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